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We Would Be Heroes

Young people don’t have a monopoly on fantasies of achieving superhero
status. The team at Topic.com asked a selection of men and women over 65
what kinds of special powers they’d love to have — then they illustrated
them. Here are a few of our favorites:

Natalie Cohen Portrait and Illustration, Super Heroes, AARP Disrupt Aging,

Natalie Cohen, 80: “Adding some happiness to everybody’s life.”

Who’s your favorite comic-book character? Wonder Woman!

That answers my next question! She’s fearless  — tremendous power. Her vision was magnificent. Very powerful, very energetic and fearless.

Did you read any of the Wonder Woman comics? I did, and I read more when my children were growing up. So I read with them.

Who is your real-life hero? My children, both of them. I’m going to cry. Because they are the greatest force I’ve ever seen. Jeffrey is in sales, and Larry is an industrial psychologist.

What’s one thing you’re really good at? I write! Comedy  — I like to write comedy. I’m funny. I have a sense of humor. I use it wherever I go , and I try to apply it to everything. I write skits, and some of them are really good. I’ve been doing it maybe 30, 40 years. It’s a lot of fun. Good therapy. Piss and vinegar, as they say.

If you could have a superpower, what would it be? Make the world a better one, especially now. I’d add some happiness to everybody’s life.

Eneida Rivera Portrait and Illustration, Super Heroes, AARP Disrupt Aging,

Eneida Rivera, 75: “I’d fly, to see all the countries.”

Who’s your favorite cartoon or comic-book character? Betty Boop!

Why Betty Boop? Oh, I love Betty Boop. I like it when she sings onstage, when she’s running around, when she makes love with somebody.

Superman, Batman or Wonder Woman? Wonder Woman, because she’s a woman and I would like to be Wonder Woman.

Who is your real-life hero? It was my husband, but he died. He was good to me; he gave me his character, his money, his everything when he died. I stayed with him until he died. Now I don’t want to be alone, so I go to the centers, go to see shows, go everyplace.

What’s one thing you’re really good at? Dancing.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be? I’d fly; I’d see all the countries. I don’t have the money, but I’d like to go to France, Italy, Germany — all the countries.

John Michael Lovett Portrait and Illustration, Super Heroes, AARP Disrupt Aging,

John Michael Lovett, 77: “To be able to stand up for what’s right.”

Who’s your favorite comic-book character? Dick Tracy. It’s suspense, and he’s always doing the right thing and solving problems.

Who is your hero in real life? My sons  — I love my sons. They’re very successful , and they’re very loving. I should say it the other way, and they’re my life.

What’s one thing you’re really good at? I’m very friendly with people. I know how to converse and I embrace people.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be? I wish I had more of a stronger character in dealing with bad situations. I’m not good at confrontations, and sometimes my values  — I reduce my values just to be liked. And I don’t like that part. I love people who are strong and have courage.

Nataliia Reynolds Portrait and Illustration, Super Heroes, AARP Disrupt Aging,

Nataliia Reynolds, 78: “Make people wiser.”

Who’s your favorite comic-book character? Natasha Rostova in War and Peace. I played this role when I was in Moscow.

Superman, Batman or Wonder Woman? Wonderman? What is this, Wonderman?

She’s a superhero; she has lassos of truth. Maybe him.

Who is your real-life hero? At first, you asked me a person from the book. You know, I can’t answer this question. Because if I say it, it’s from my previous life. It’s different.

What’s one thing you’re really good at? Can I give you several? Teaching, singing, drawing, sports, dealing with people.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be? I would put wisdom and knowledge into people.

For more see Topic.com.

Photographs by Michael Carbone, Illustrations by Mark Todd, Text by Jaya Saxena

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